Everything is Working

This weekend’s Seattle VR/AR hackathon felt different. Once again it took place at Magnuson Park in a building usually occupied by UW construction students, with teams creating games and other immersive experiences. Team members camped out with Vives, Rifts, Hololenses, and all the gear necessary to bring their visions to life.  Developers gazed intensely at…

Why Seattle City Hall Doesn’t Get Amazon

Pretty horrible week for now ex-Mayor Ed Murray, wouldn’t you say? A week ago, Murray’s office responded to news that Amazon is seeking to open a second headquarters in another North American city with a statement that read, in part, “My office will immediately begin conversations with Amazon around their needs with today’s announcement and…

Twenty Years in Seattle with Amazon

I moved to Seattle in September, 1997, to an apartment with a view of the Acacia Cemetery on Lake City Way. I’d often stand at the window with a cup of coffee, watching hunched people sobbing over graves. I’d given up my cool job at a bookstore to follow my girlfriend as she pursed a…

The Return and Conclusion of Twin Peaks

Our realities have been divided, nested, segregated, interlinked, distorted, and fractured. We live in the era of alternative facts, truthiness, false equivalence, and fake news. I assume I’m living in one sort of place and suddenly discover that the world has shifted and what was once familiar appears like a simulation. In a parallel universe…

Dreamers

A little over a week ago my girlfriend Lisa and I took a walk along the beach at Lincoln Park in West Seattle. It was near sunset, the tide was high, and a ferry took its time getting to Vashon Island. A Latino family was celebrating someone’s birthday at one of the picnic stations, and…

Alexa, You Don’t Have to Pretend You’re Human

Driven by curiosity and lured by unlimited streaming music, I bought an Amazon Echo this summer. Using it to play music gives me the vertigo of limitless choice similar to that of using Napster the first time, or the early days of the iPod. I can ask it, “Alexa, play music from 1984” and ZZ…